Say It With Your Chest

 Exodus 3:14 says, "God said to Moses, “I am who I am.This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you. God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.” (Exodus 3:13–15)

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.[a] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”

15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord,[b] the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’

“This is my name forever,
    the name you shall call me
    from generation to generation.

When God commanded Moses to go back to Egypt, in order to bring Israel out of slavery, Moses' first response was an expression of doubt. God replied with reassurances, both of His own presence, and with prophecy of Moses' eventual success.

Here, Moses provides his second objection to God's call. His first excuse related to his identity: "Who am I?" (Exodus 3:11). The excuse given here relates to God's identity. Moses' question is not entirely inappropriate. He expects people to ask a very natural question: who sent you to lead us? Specifically, Moses wants to know how to answer the question of "which God" he is representing. This interesting question leads to a unique revelation of the Lord's name in the next verse; this statement will become an integral part of God's identity as revealed in the rest of Scripture.

The phrase, "The God of your fathers," relates back to a similar comment made by God in verse 6, implying that the One speaking is the God of Moses' ancestors. Moses uses an important shift in perspective, however. In Moses' words, this being is "the God of your fathers," as spoken by Moses to the Jewish people. In other words, this emphasizes God's relationship to the Hebrew people, rather than to Moses. Moses has a conflicted identity with the Hebrews. He is a Jew, but was not raised as a Jew. He is—ethnically—one of the enslaved Israelis, yet lives in exile in freedom from that slavery. As a result, Moses is fearful to approach the Jewish people with claims that he should have authority over them. Even when he lived in Egypt, the Hebrew people saw no reason to accept his commands (Exodus 2:14).

So, Moses seeks advice from God regarding how to respond, still hoping God will choose someone else instead.
Context Summary
Exodus 3:9–15 reveals God's commission of Moses as His spokesman, in order to lead Israel out of their slavery in Egypt. God provides reassurance in response to Moses' doubts. God also identifies Himself using terminology which will be crucial in both Jewish and Christian understanding of His nature. As a name, God uses the phrase ''I AM,'' indicating His eternal, uncreated, necessary, absolute existence. This connects to the Hebrew term YHWH, most often seen as LORD, Yahweh, or Jehovah. This same phrasing will be used by Jesus in the New Testament.

Chapter Summary
Moses is tending sheep for his father-in-law when he sees a miraculous sight: a bush which is on fire, but not burnt up. From this fire, God speaks to Moses, appointing him as the leader of the nation of Israel, whom God intends to free from Egyptian slavery. God identifies Himself in this passage using the famous terminology ''I AM.'' Despite Moses' fears and doubts, God gives him a message to take to the elders of Israel, and eventually to Pharaoh himself.

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